Aleksei Navalny's family and close associates have confirmed the Russian opposition politician's death in an Arctic prison and have demanded his body be handed over, but officials have refused to release it, telling his lawyers and mother that an "investigation" of the causes would only be completed next week. "Alexey's lawyer and his mother have arrived at the morgue in Salekhard," Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on X, referring to the capital of the region of Yamalo-Nenets, where Navalny's prison is located. “It's closed. However, the [prison] has assured them it's working and Navalny's body is there. The lawyer called the phone number which was on the door. He was told he was the seventh caller today. Alexey's body is not in the morgue," she added. Yarmysh then said in a new message: "An hour ago, the lawyers were told that the check was completed and no crime had been found. They literally lie every time, drive in circles and cover their tracks." But in a third message, she said, "Now the Investigative Committee directly says that until the check is completed, Aleksei’s body will not be given to relatives." Navalny associate Ivan Zhdanov, who currently resides abroad, said that Navalny's mother was told her son had died of a cardiac-arrest illness. - RFE/RL

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Russia said its forces took complete control Saturday of a city in eastern Ukraine that was the focus of intense combat for months, a development that Moscow could use to boost morale as the second anniversary of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches with the war largely at a stalemate. The Russian Defense Ministry’s announcement came the same day Ukraine’s military chief said he was withdrawing troops from the city of Avdiivka, where the outnumbered defenders had battled a Russian assault for four months. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the Kremlin that Russian forces were working to clear final pockets of resistance at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant, officials said in a statement. Videos on social media Saturday appeared to show soldiers raising the Russian flag over one of the plant’s buildings - AP

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US House Approves Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid, Threatens TikTok - A Summary
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US House Approves Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid, Threatens TikTok - A Summary

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Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Saturday the pattern of negotiations for a framework ceasefire deal for the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was "not very promising" in recent days. “The pattern in the last few days are not really very promising but, as I always repeat, we will always remain optimistic and will always remain pushing," Sheikh Mohammed said at the Munich Security Conference. Sheikh Mohammed, who is also foreign minister, said he could not get into the details of negotiations but as with past deals there were two elements, the humanitarian conditions in Gaza and the number of Palestinians who would be released in exchange for hostages held by Hamas - Singapore Straits Times

Egypt categorically denied allegations of participating in any process involving the displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula, the country's State Information Service (SIS) said on Friday. Four sources told Reuters that Egypt, as a precautionary measure, is preparing an area at the Gaza border which could accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts an exodus across the frontier. "Egypt's decisive stance since the beginning of the aggression ... is to completely reject any forced or voluntary displacement of Palestinian brothers from the Gaza Strip to outside it, especially to Egyptian territory," Diaa Rashwan, the SIS head, said in a statement. He said such scenario would entail "a definite liquidation of the Palestinian cause and a direct threat to Egyptian sovereignty and national security."

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Thailand's billionaire former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was released on parole on Sunday after six months in detention, his first day of freedom in his homeland 15 years after fleeing in the wake of his overthrow in a military coup. Thailand's best-known and most polarising premier, the influential Thaksin has loomed large over politics during the years spent mostly in self-imposed exile to dodge jail for abuse of power, charges he maintained were cooked up by the country's old guard to keep him at bay - Reuters

Ukrainians who came to the UK following the Russian invasion will be able to apply for 18-month extensions to their visas, the government has announced. Since the invasion, the second anniversary of which is next week, some 200,200 Ukrainians and family members have come to the UK. New arrivals were granted three years to remain, meaning the first visas were due to expire in March 2025 - BBC.

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Comments ( 1)

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Kristian Kahrs
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

It is interesting that the disastrous loss of Avdiivka is not mentioned at the front page of Kyiv Post and only barely mentioned as one of many stories in the world brifing section.... Where should the Ukrainian defense be after this? Soon Chasiv Yar will be lost as well.

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